"Celebrations" - Monday Moment - October 31, 2022

Happy Monday, my friends! I’m taking a break from my current series of Monday Moments to focus on a milestone: today marks one year since I began writing Monday Moments. When I decided to accept the executive director position with LOVEboldly, I reached out to a mentor who encouraged me to write a weekly email to the board either previewing the week ahead or recapping the week just past. Quick and simple but intended to keep our board involved in the work I was doing. I decided to emulate pastors and write a brief reflection and prayer to go with my update. I started to add reflection questions the third week and after a month the updates seemed to lose relevance. Soon LOVEboldly’s founder, Heidi Weaver-Smith, and our board chair, Rachel Dew, encouraged me to post the reflections on our website. My mother started to read them on the website but wanted to get alerted when new reflections were released. That desire grew into a mailing list of now over 30 people who receive Monday Moments at 5:30am every Monday, plus other readers across LOVEboldly’s social media and website. Today’s reflection is number 53, the first of year two.


I’ve been reflecting on celebration quite a bit lately. Last Tuesday, I hosted friends for a celebration of my 15 years out of the closet and proudly living as a Queer man. Marginalized communities rarely get to have celebrations. Heritage months are not celebrations; they are times when dominant communities tell us that we can, under certain circumstances, share our history and our culture. As a white man whose history, literature, and culture were always on a pedestal, I can’t fathom the insidiousness of being told February—the shortest month of the calendar year—is the one time we could discuss Black figures and then only the “good” people and the “good” literature. Pride month is often called a celebration, but it reflects the reality of our community being savagely repressed and then left for dead. The truth is the first pride was a riot. Marginalized communities don’t get many celebrations.


We often have to find and make our own celebrations. Marriages—if we have the right to have them—birthdays, anniversaries, memories with chosen and biological families, remembering when we came out, recalling when we officially stopped being baby gays, our first drag show. We celebrate the times we began to live as our authentic selves and the times we claimed our true identities. And so I celebrate this year of Monday Moments with you and thank you for welcoming my thoughts into your inbox.


What celebrations do you mark? How do they give context to your life?


Let us pray: God of celebrations, we ask you to help us celebrate the life you have given us to live. Help us find the moments where celebrations are natural and those times where celebration is hard to find. God, show up with us and give us peace in times where peace seems lost. We ask this knowing that you are changeless and eternal. Amen.


Blessings on your weeks, friends! Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you.


Faithfully,


Ben